Video: South African police punish crooks with apple firing squad

South African police apples

Police in South Africa have been recorded lining up suspected thieves against a wall and throwing apples at them.

The footage shows five officers flinging the stolen crop like baseballs as the suspects flinch and duck. One person, probably the one holding the camera, can be heard giggling.

The footage was uploaded to Facebook by South African man Kevi van Wyk, who was sent the video by a friend.

"The officers caught the men stealing apples in Villiersdorp" he told local newspaper Times Live. "They took them out into the mountains then made them line up before throwing the apples at them."

The incident's believed to have taken place earlier last week. Mr van Wyk said his source claims to have another video showing the same officers stripping one of the suspects naked and beating him.

"It's wrong to steal apples but I don't think this is the way to deal with it."

Local Mayor Christelle Vosloo called the officers' actions "inhumane and a gross violation of the safety and dignity of the victims".

"I will ensure an immediate investigation into the incident," she told Times Live. "If any personnel of the municipality are found guilty in regards to the incident they will face the strongest disciplinary actions possible."

Witnesses commenting on the video have claimed the suspects were caught throwing apples at passing motorists, and the officers gave them what they deserved.